Kernels Remains Dark

by Mark  

Cognitive thought, critical thinking, ability to string together a coherent idea has been impaired and at times down right blurred since last Thursday morning when I woke to spitting red. That escalated on Friday, through the weekend and to today as pain from the implant of a vena cava filter has made it difficult to focus on anything other than attempting to ignore the aching and agony.

As those who pay attention or only occasionally skim my words of drivel may have noticed, I have not been able to piece together a Kernels From the Cornfield since last Wednesday. It is not that I haven't been listening, reading and watching the news and news feeds, but rather that mind has had to be singular in its objective which has been to ignore, bite through the pain.

Hopefully, Kernels will return soon.

I have another test scheduled Wednesday to test for peripheral vascular disease. Not sure how this may impact how quickly I will be able to return to my nightly recap of the headlines and current events.

Stay tuned and check back.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Kernels - Dark for Thursday, June 5, 2014

by Mark  

Due to a new health flare-up, Kernels is dark for Thursday, June 5, 2014.

Check back tomorrrow for a new edition of Kernels From the Cornfield, health permitting.

Kernels - Wednesday, June 4, 2014

by Mark  


Good evening, I am Mark Ivy.

Welcome to the latest edition of Kernels From the Cornfield - No Husks, No Hulls, No Shucks!

News with a dash of commentary to spice up your fare for Wednesday, June 4th, 2014.

1. War's End? - President Barack Obama and his supporters continue to insist we are at the end of war. However, the Taliban, Al Qaeda, the Haqqani Network have not signaled they are winding down in their efforts to kill Americans or see the death of the Great Satan, the United States of America.

One cannot declare the end of war when the enemy is still raising arms and mounting attacks on our men and women in uniform.

The President is using this as justification for disregarding the law requiring him to notify Congress before releasing prisoners from Guantanamo Bay. But a war does not end just because the President says so.

Or is the President signalling the US of A is surrendering to the forces of terror?

2. No Surprise in President's Actions - I have finally articulated my position on events and activity surrounding the release of Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl by his Afghani captors.

You can read my perspective: No Surprise - The President Could Not Wait at FromTheCornfield.com.

3. And the Oscar Goes to - A dramatic video was released today by the Talaban and Haqqani Network of the release of Bergdahl to US special forces in southeastern Afghanistan along the Pakistan border.

The video also showed the release of the 5 Taliban murderers in Qatar, where they seemed to receive a hero's welcome.

The video, a definite public relations victory, indicated to me that the jihadist terrorists bent on killing Americans perceived the swap of Bergdahl for 5 of their leaders as a major win in the war against us - not something occurring at the "end of wars".

4. Eight-State Primary - The much-watched Mississippi primary senatorial race is not over yet. Senator Thad Cochran failed to win 51% of the vote nor did his opponent, Tea Party favorite State Senator Chris McDaniel. A run-off election will happen in less than three weeks.

This is the last chance for the Tea Party to score a major win against the establishment GOP.

In Iowa, State Senator Joni Ernst, backed by both the establishment GOP and the Tea Party, will face-off against Democratic Representative Bruce Braley. Iowa is a state that Republicans think they can pick up on their way to capture six seats currently held by Democrats and regain control of the US Senate.

5. Slenderman Will Get You - Read my take on two 12-year-old girls who have been charged with stabbing another girl 19 times in an attempt to please a fictious, online creation named Slenderman: Where Is the Parenting? at FromTheCornfield.com.

6. What's That You Hear? - Underwater sound detectors picked up what some are saying is the crash of Malaysia Flight 370 over two months ago. Only problem is the location the sound emanated from is well over a thousand miles north of where all the focus has been in the southern Indian Ocean.

Experts are divided over whether this may have been the flight or not. The mystery surrounding the disappearance of the commercial aircraft, its crew and passengers remains unanswered.

7. Long Night Over? - This just in: Donald Sterling has agreed to the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

Now can we get back to real news?

That's what caught my attention for Wednesday, June 4th, 2014.

Tune in tomorrow for another episode of Kernels From the Cornfield.

I am Mark Ivy.

Good evening!

Kernels - Tuesday, June 3, 2014

by Mark  


Good evening, I am Mark Ivy.

Welcome to the latest edition of Kernels From the Cornfield - No Husks, No Hulls, No Shucks!

News with a dash of commentary to spice up your fare for Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014.

1. War's End? - President Barack Obama, in a press conference in Poland along side Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski, defended negotiations with the terrorist Haqqani Network, using the Arabian Peninsula country of Qatar as a go-between, which led to the release of Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl at the end of this past week, as what is done between combating forces when a war is ending.

While the US may be stopping its combat mission in Afghanistan there is no sign of the war coming to a close with Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda aligned terrorist organizations around the world.

By declaring this similar to prisoner swaps at the end of previous wars, the complaint is the President is conferring a status on terrorists akin to a recognized state.

So are we to presume the President views Al Qaeda, the Taliban and the Haqqani Network soverign states unto themselves?

Are peace treaties being forged in secret with once-terrorist, now state entities representing these fear mongers and terror inspired organizations?

Is this the same as what occurred at the end of wars past with sovereign states?

2. Broken Law or Above the Law? - While technically, as CNN's senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin noted, the President did break the law by not informing Congress on the release of the five Taliban, top-tier, prisoners from Guantanamo Bay, there is great leeway, according to past Supreme Court rulings and constitutional scholars, in the President acting as Commander-in-Chief.

While both Republicans and Democrats, including Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Diane Feinstein, a powerful Democrat, may grouse about the President's actions, it is doubtful the Supremes will intervene nor that Congress will do much more about the President acting illegally.

The President did admit in that news conference that there is a high likelihood of the five prisoners released rejoining the jihad against the US and American military personnel.

I am still mulling over the whole scenario concerning the release of Bergdahl and of the President's actions. There are so many shades and layers to this story with stories inside of stories. I will put my full thoughts down as soon as I can formulate a clear, articulate perspective on the issues and concerns, which can be read at FromTheCornfield.com.

3. Foreign Policy? - Read my thoughts about President Barack Obama's speech at the West Point Military Academy commencement at FromTheCornfield.com: Dud Foreign Policy Speech Lands with a Thud.

4. Army Will Investigate - Bergdahl is still being treated in a medical facility in Germany. It is not known yet how soon he will be transferred to Brookes Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.

Over the last 24 hours the displeasure of former comrades-in-arms who served with Bergdahl in Afghanistan is getting louder and louder. The President, in Poland, weighed in on the outcry about exchanging five Taliban prisoners for Bergdahl's release saying that it was "the right thing to do". He said that whether Bergdahl was a deserter or not was not relevant. America's tradition was to leave no man or woman in uniform behind by the nation "at the end of wars".

Secretary of the Army John McHugh stated that once Bergdahl is treated an investigation would launch to determine if the soldier was hero, deserter or traitor.

As I noted in Monday's Kernels, many are asking, "At what cost, freedom?"

5. Where's the Parenting? - Two 12-year-old girls are being tried as adults in Wisconsin after taking another 12-year-old girl out into the woods and stabbing her 19 times.

The victim is in the hospital and recovering.

Reportedly the delinquents were attempting to curry the favor of a fictious, online character, Slenderman, by killing the other girl.

That the girls thought the fictious Slenderman was some how real rather than a creation for a web site fiction writing site begs one to ask, "Where's the parenting?"

I recall when Kev, my youngest son was growing, at a very early age, I would talk to him about the difference between reality and make-believe, the fantasy world of pretend and the real world of life.

Whether it was nursery rhymes, bedtime stores and moving on to cartoons, video games, television shows and movies I would question Kev and make sure he knew the difference between what he read or saw in those mediums and his day-to-day existence in the world of the living.

I made sure Kev knew the make-believe nature of the Mutant Ninja Turtles, Sonic the Hedgehog, the Power Rangers. I would check up occassionally to make sure Kev had not become lost in a virtual world and connected to the world outside The Matrix.

I'm sure Kev got sick of Dad making sure he remained mentally stable and grounded in reality. But it worked.

How could two 12-year-old girls think that a fantasy creation on a web site could favor them, bless them if only they killed another?

6. It's Raining Money! - Seattle, Washington has longed been known to get lots of rain through the year. Now, it seems the city is raining money too.

Monday, the city council increased the minimum wage to the highest in the nation, $15 per hour. The state minimum wage of $9.52 was already the highest state minimum in the country. Now Seattle with its $5.48 increase puts its fast food workers at the top of the scale for low-wage earners.

But don't quit your job just yet and move to the northwest coast. The new wage will not take effect until 2017 for big companies and not until 2021 for small businesses.

To make $10 or $11 per hour you will have to wait until April Fool's Day, 2015.

7. Is It the Water or Lack of Water in California? - A man, hunted by the FBI, was caught in San Francisco after eluding authorities for days. The manhunt started after reportedly a large cache of explosive materials were found in his home and a "suicide note" was posted on his Facebook page.

He could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

8. Primary Day in Eight States - Voters in eight states are going to the polls today to choose candidates to face off in November's Mid-Term Elections.

The most watched race pits Republican establishment incumbent Senator Thad Cochran against a Tea Party candidate in Mississippi. Once thought vulnerable, Cochran has pulled ahead lately and may very well fend off the attack from the right.

In Iowa, a temporary truce seems to be holding between the GOP establishment and the Tea Party as both are backing State Senator Joni Ernst to face-off against Democratic Representative Bruce Braley. Iowa is a state that Republicans think they can pick up on their way to capture six seats currently held by Democrats and regain control of the US Senate.

That's what caught my attention for Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014.

Tune in tomorrow for another episode of Kernels From the Cornfield.

I am Mark Ivy.

Good evening!

Kernels - Monday, June 2, 2014

by Mark  


Good evening, I am Mark Ivy.

Welcome to the latest edition of Kernels From the Cornfield - No Husks, No Hulls, No Shucks!

News with a dash of commentary to spice up your fare for Monday, June 2nd, 2014.

1. At What Price, Freedom? - I, along with the rest of the nation, am happy that Bowe Bergdahl has been released from captivity and will soon be returning to his family in the US of A.

Bergdahl, who was captured by the Taliban while serving in the US Army in Afghanistan, was released this past week in what the White House is calling a "prisoner exchange".

This is raising the question: At what price, freedom?

After his capture, six American soldiers lost their lives trying to save Bergdahl, who is being depicted by his former comrades-in-arms as a deserter at best and at worst, a traitor. In emails to his parents, it is reported, that Bergdahl expressed his disillusionment with America and the military mission in Afghanistan.

In addition, the cost for Bergdahl's freedom was the release of top Taliban and Al Qaeda aligned prisoners at Guantanomo Bay, Cuba. These five were not lower echelon, but at the apex of the Taliban leadership, some bosom buddies of Osama Bin Laden.

Bergdahl has yet to be classified as a deserter or have his classification changed from prisoner of war. He is scheduled for promotion to staff sergeant later this month.

His former foxhole buddies are not pleased.

According to information being released by the Department of Defense, Bergdahl is being treated at a medical facility in Germany and will soon be transferred to Brookes Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.

2. Broken Law or Above the Law? - President Barack Obama is being accused by members of Congress of having broke the law in releasing the five Taliban prisoners from Guantanomo Bay.

Even CNN's chief legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, stated point blank on The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, that the President did indeed break the law because he did not inform Congress 30 days in advance of the release of these prisoners to the Mideastern country of Qatar.

The White House is pushing back and claimed special circumstances for non-compliance with a law that the President signed himself. It has been noted, the President signed a signing statement at the time stating his position he had the right to ignore the law if he chose to do so.

What is at concern is if the President's action of trading five Taliban leaders for the release of one American soldier, who is under a cloud of suspicion, sets a dangerous precedent which may put Americans and America's fighting men and women in harm's way making them targets for capture and as pawns in a game of gaining the release of other terrorists in custody.

The Administration is coming under fire from both Republicans and Democrats over the release of the Taliban prisoners. This even though the White House is saying that the prisoners must remain under watch and restricted to Qatar for an entire year.

This has not always worked out in the past when another prisoner released to Qatar with the same conditions ended up captured in Great Britain fomenting jihad.

I am still mulling over the whole scenario concerning the release of Bergdahl and of the President's actions. I will put my full thoughts down as soon as I can formulate a clear, articulate perspective on the issues and concerns, which can be read at FromTheCornfield.com.

3. Foreign Policy? - Read my thoughts about President Barack Obama's speech at the West Point Military Academy commencement at FromTheCornfield.com: Dud Foreign Policy Speech Lands with a Thud.

4. EPA to Coal Companies - Shut 'er Down! - The EPA announced a new rule on reduction of up to 30% carbon emissions by 2030 today.

The question remains whether the 30% will start in 2005 or now. Since 2005, the EPA reports emissions have dropped 13%. However unless China, India, Brazil rein in their carbon emissions, the US action will have negligible impact on the world pollution and human contribution to climate change.

I reported about the rule change last week in my Thursday edition of Kernels (http://fromthecornfield.com/kernels/blog1.php/kernels-thursday-may-29-2014).

According to a study released by the US Chamber of Commerce, the impact on the Cornfield, which is part of the East North Central Region including Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, will amount to 32,000 jobs lost each year until 2030 and an economic loss of $7.4 billion per year until 2030. That is just for this region. For the nation as a whole, the number of lost jobs will be 224,000 with an economic cost of $51 billion.

You tell me - Is the cost too high?

One Democratic senatorial candidate, Alison Lundergan Grimes, who is hoping to topple Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell from his seat in the Kentucky race is vehemently opposed to the new rule and sees this as a "war on coal".

Though Kentucky's version of the Affordable Care Act's marketplace exchange has proven both successful and popular, the President is not welcome in the Bluegrass State. With the EPA proposed rule, he is even less welcome today.

Expect the "war on coal" to be a major issue during the fall campaign between McConnell and Grimes.

5. Your Face on a Milk Carton? - Well maybe not on a milk carton, but the New York Times is reporting that information released by traitor or whistleblower - you pick - Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency is collecting thousands of every day Americans' faces and entering the data into facial recognition software.

This is whether you have even been arrested, charged with a crime, been a blip on someone's radar screen or not.

Yes, I know selfies are all the rage.

Yes, I know that young people especially are sharing every photo and every bit of information they can with the world at large on social media.

But to me this is another outrage that our government is collecting private information and creating dossiers on unsuspecting Americans.

This is not right.

6. Is an Election Valid in a Civil War? - Syrians, or at least the ones who can safely make it to the polls, will vote in national elections on Tuesday. Syrian President, or is that dictator, Bashar al Assad is expected to win re-election even though the majority of the country is in the midst of a civil war.

Voting booths will only be open in government controlled areas of the nation. Rebels, unless they risk life and limb, will not be participating in the election.

So much for the concept of "open and free elections". Assad is a dictator after all.

7. Becoming the Story, Rather than Reporting the Story - I found myself accidentally becoming the story rather than reporting the story over the weekend in violation of the journalistic code of ethics.

OOPs! my bad, but hopefully my story will help someone else.

You never know how an expression of frustration might be perceived. Seems a status update I did on Facebook on Sunday caused a stir with some - not locally, but across the country.

Having a very rough day, filled with pain and wracked with agony, I wrote:

Enough already! I can no longer ignore or deal with my head trying to explode; the searing pain and agony; the suffocating sensation as my airways are choked shut denying oxygen to my vital organs; the depressive knowledge of being an utter failure as a human being, a man, a grandfather, a father, a son, a husband, a life partner; the overwhelming nausea induced by the totality of it all.

That was enough to trigger alarm bells with some of my online friends and fellow members of CNN's iReport community.

You can read the full article at Inside My Mind: Causing a Stir - Well a Small Ripple at MarksDen.com.

That's what caught my attention for Monday, June 2nd, 2014.

Tune in tomorrow for another episode of Kernels From the Cornfield.

I am Mark Ivy.

Good evening!

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